September 19th, 2016

[podcast] Easy Ways to Add Prayer to Your Day #038

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NOTES
Our topic this week is daily prayer. While we all need to be sure we are making time for quiet, focused prayer each day, there are also some easy ways we can pray throughout the day — even when we are busy. I share the following ideas:

1) Pray a morning offering. I like this one, but there are lots of ways to offer your day at the very start.

2) Attach prayer to daily activities. Whether you are driving or folding laundry, if you use daily actions as prompts to prayer, you will have regular reminders to connect with God.

3) Use music. Whether you like Christian rock or Gregorian chant, find and use music that inspires you throughout your daily activities.

4) Pray for your family one word at a time. This is a little practice I use to pray for many people I know and love in a focused way.

5) Use an examination of conscience. This is a great way to reflect on your day, ask forgiveness, ask for help, and give thanks at the end of each day.

INTERVIEW
This week I share an inspirational conversation I had with farm wife, mom, and theological writer Gina Loehr. This energetic lady shares about life on the farm as well as some surprising ways in which God has called her to motherhood and a professional life. She even met Pope Francis and has a new book out about that experience, The Church is Our Mother: Seven Ways She Inspires Us to Love. Check it out!

Gina’s books on Amazon
Gina’s website

Thank you SO MUCH to Christen who left an iTunes review, and Sarah Reinhard who left a voice message abotu how much she loves Daria Sockey, and to Tracy who is our newest supporter on Patreon. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support of the Girlfriends podcast. I love hearing from you!

SUPPORT
Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Links for this episode

My new book is available!
You’re Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You

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September 14th, 2016

In the Dough

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(This is an old column of mine that originally appeared at Inside Catholic)

I was going through some old pictures online the other day. Organizing family photos is a project I assign myself on occasion in order to avoid doing real work. Nothing makes sorting through decades’ worth of jumbled digital images seem like quite so enticing a task as having real work with a real deadline looming on the horizon.

As I browsed the files, I found myself particularly drawn toward the pictures my oldest son, Eamon, has taken with his camera over the years.

Funny thing about boy photographers — they don’t bother to clean up messes before they start shooting. I saw picture after picture of cookie-faced, wild-haired toddlers with a variety of toys, stuffed animals, shoes, papers, dishes, and books cluttering the background. I watched dozens of video clips of goofy children where a very pregnant mother lumbered by in the background carrying a laundry basket. Sometimes she sat, reading the newspaper on a mail-littered couch. Other times, she called out that lunch was ready, or that the bathroom was a wreck — and who was in there last, anyway?

These aren’t my annual, carefully choreographed, Christmas family photos. These photographic memories are the real deal, perhaps even real-er than I am comfortable remembering. As I looked through them, I found myself wondering: What will my kids remember of this house and this family when they are grown?

They might remember messes. I wouldn’t blame them if they did. The messes are real.

The other day, for example, when I pulled into the playground parking lot and opened my van’s side door, an empty soda bottle clattered to the pavement, followed by a tennis ball that bounced several times before rolling beneath the van, out of my reach. A pharmacy receipt and a discarded hamburger wrapper, caught by the sudden breeze, floated through the air toward me. I clapped at them with both hands and leaped into the air to capture them before stuffing them into my jeans pocket.

I looked down to see the five-year-old exiting the van. With his pants on backwards. The six-year-old was close behind. In a pair of rubber boots, one yellow, one black. The eight-year-old followed her brothers, sporting a lopsided ponytail, a navy skirt, white first Communion heels, and turquoise butterfly knee socks.

A group of preschool models, who might have just finished shooting an Old Navy ad, and their 20-something mothers were gathered near the swings. Staring.

My life, I sometimes think, has been exaggerated for comedic effect.

As a mother of eight, I catch myself thinking “if only” a lot. If only the kids would keep quiet for 45 minutes, I could write a great American novel. If only the kids would wear paper sacks for a week, I could get caught up on laundry. If only I didn’t have a so much “help” all the time, I could bake a loaf of artisan bread to accompany a homemade dinner daily.

But of course I have help. When I begin any cooking or baking project, at least one of my three youngest is sure to drag a wooden chair across the sticky floors to climb to the cluttered kitchen countertops. To help.

During one recent baking project, I realized that I must have been saying “don’t touch!” an awful lot, because Gabrielle wound up telling me that she intended to be good now — and to prove it she held her hands behind her back.

Raphael was not quite so accommodating. I managed to knead a batch of dinner rolls, but as I was preparing the dough for the first rise, he slapped a small fat hand directly on top of the gooey mound. He grinned with delight at the feel of the dough within his grasp.

Something about the sight of that small hand with its widespread fingers reminded me of a French phrase I learned years ago: la main à la pâte. Literally, hand in the dough. Figuratively, however, it means active participation in the plans and preparations for any particular project. Hands-on learning.

Raphael has la main à la pâte, all right. All the kids do.

When children make up a significant percentage of your household membership, there’s just no way around it. Their wants, needs, ideas, preferences, and opinions become the basics around which the rest of your life is built. They’re in the dough.

To me, the messes in old photos are evidence of so much more than just large family life. They are evidence of this life we’re living. Really living. Together.

My children’s hands are in the dough. In the laundry. In the writing. In the kitchen cabinets. And under the seats in the van. Sometimes I get impatient, and I wish their hands were not quite so much a part of everything, but that’s only when I allow myself to forget. That my life is a recipe, and these kids are essential ingredients.

Whether they scroll through the old photos or not, when my children are grown, they might remember some messes. They might remember some noise. But as I watched a final silly video where several of their small bodies tumbled over one another and fell into a heap of giggles on the floor, I dared to think that they’ll remember love.

Because it’s in the dough, too. And it’s every bit as real.

September 12th, 2016

[podcast] He Says, She Says #037

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NOTES
This week we are talking about communication between the sexes. If we understand one another’s communication styles and preferences, we can have much clearer and more fruitful communication in our relationships, especially in our marriages. I share 3 ways that men and women tend to communicate differently:

1) We speak about emotion differently.
2) We speak for different purposes.
3) We speak differently when faced with a problem.
In talking about these differences together and with our spouses, we can better understand one another and avoid unnecessary conflicts and offenses. We are all learning this stuff together!

INTERVIEW
This week I share an great conversation I had with Roxane Salonen who is a wife, mom, and author. Roxane shares about balancing writing with motherhood and some important things she has learned along the way. You will not want to miss the important words of wisdom that her friend Linda shared with her once. And we end with pickles and cinnamon candy! Sounds good, right?

Roxane’s blog
Roxane’s books
Roxane on Twitter

Thank you SO MUCH to Pat Gohn who left an iTunes review, and Melissa and Annemarie who left great voice feedback this week. Thank you for your support of the Girlfriends podcast. I love hearing from you!

SUPPORT
Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Links for this episode

My new book is available!
You’re Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You

From our healthy goals check-in: My Fitness Pal app

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September 5th, 2016

[podcast] Get Rid of Guilt #036

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NOTES
This week we are talking about getting rid of the guilt that can be so crippling in our lives. First, we must distinguish between healthy, helpful guilt, and unhealthy, unhelpful guilt. We are talking about “getting rid” of the unhealthy kind, so it’s important to note the difference. Once you determine you are dealing with unhealthy guilt, here are some points to keep in mind:

1) God made you unique and you are meant to be a unique blessing to the people in your life.
2) Find out what your family actually WANTS. You might be surprised!
3) Be careful what you read from the “experts.” YOU are the expert in your own life.
4) Get an outside opinion. If you are feeling confused about the guilt you feel, talk with someone you trust and get the benefit of their perspective.
5) If you decide to embark on something new, immediately take at least one small step toward your goal. Banish the feeling of guilt and paralysis by taking action — however small — toward meeting your new goal!

INTERVIEW
This week I share an awesome chat I had with Daria Sockey from the Coffee and Canticles blog. She shares so beautifully about her own fun adventures and challenges as mom and homeschooler.

Daria’s blog
Daria’s book: The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours

Thank you SO MUCH to Erica who left voicemail feedback this week.

SUPPORT
Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Links for this episode

My new book is available!
You’re Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You

From our healthy goals check-in: My Fitness Pal app

Subscribe to Girlfriends in iTunes
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August 29th, 2016

[podcast] The Art of Letting Go #035

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NOTES
This week I am reflecting on the time my family and I have spent these past two weeks, saying goodbye to big kids starting college, both near and far away. I’ll admit to being a bit of an emotional wreck through all of this, but I do have some thoughts to share about what has made this time of transition a bit easier.

1) Focus on long term goals and successes.
2) Think about the definition of positive accomplishments as a parent.
3) Let yourself be sad.
4) Open your heart to new possibilities.

INTERVIEW
This week I share a really wonderful conversation I had with Leticia Adams, who shares life as a mom and (YOUNG!) Grandma, and the lessons she has learned as a covert to the Catholic faith. You won’t want to miss all that she shares. Leticia is beautiful voice of truth and realism.

LetiAdams.com
Leticia’s blog at Patheos
Leticia on Facebook
Leticia on Twitter
Leticia on Instagram

Thank you SO MUCH to Jessica, our newest Patreon supporter of this podcast. As always, I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

SUPPORT
Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Links for this episode

My new book is available!
You’re Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You

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August 22nd, 2016

[podcast] Learn to Set Boundaries #034

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NOTES
Pre-recorded because I am ON THE ROAD with my family this week!
In this week’s show we are talking about BOUNDARIES — what they are, how to set them, and why they might be the best hing you ever did for yourself and your relationships. I offer these thoughts on the topic:

1) Decide what you really want.
2) Be clear and firm.
3) Remember that you are only responsible for yourself.
4) Be patient, because change takes time.

INTERVIEW
This week I share a really fun conversation I had with Dwija Borobia, wife/mom/blogger/adventurer/artist from House Unseen. She shares thoughts and stories that will make you laugh and also touch your heart. She’s the real deal and I loved having a chance to chat with her.

Dwija’s blog
Dwija on Instagram
Dwija on Twitter

FEEDBACK
Listener Audra shares a voicemail this week about how she approaches improving body image. She offers some really good food for thought and encouragement for those of us who struggle with learning to love our bodies. Definitely a must-listen! Thank you Audra!

As always, I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

SUPPORT
Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Links for this episode

My new book is available!
You’re Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You

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August 15th, 2016

[podcast] Kids & Chores #033

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NOTES
This week we are discussing the perennial topic of kids and chores. How do you get your kids to help around the house? How do you teach them life skills without losing your mind? How important is an allowance? How can we motivate our kids to contribute the household work in meaningful ways? What are some of the benefits to having kids do regular chores, and why do we sometimes avoid doing it anyway?

INTERVIEW
This week I share a great conversation I had with Christine Johnson who is my Twitter friend and running buddy on Nike+ Christine shares about a big mistake she made in the past and how she found healing and hope through the sacrament of confession. She also shares some of her fitness triumphs that are sure to inspire you.

Christine’s blog
Christine on Twitter
Couch to 5K beginner running program

FEEDBACK
Listener Lisa sends a note of encouragement and talks about findinf friendships and the Momnipotent study program she did at her parish.

Becky shares how she believes praying for specific things and not just to know and do the will of God keeps her close to Jesus and helps her have a personal relationship with him. I respond, sharing about how I think my perspective on prayer and hers are not really very different but that I am struggling with letting go of my own will, so I think that is where my focus needs to be right now, and that is where I find peace.

As always, I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

SUPPORT
Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Links for this episode

My new book is available!
You’re Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You

Subscribe to Girlfriends in iTunes
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About Danielle Bean
Danielle’s Books on Amazon
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August 8th, 2016

[podcast] How to Say Sorry Like You Mean It #032

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NOTES
This week we are talking about right and wrong ways to make an apology to someone you have hurt. I share some examples of what I think are “fake” apologies — those where you make excuses for yourself, refuse to take actual blame, or accuse the other person of wrongdoing. Then I go on to share what I think is the anatomy of a “good” and “real” apology:

1) Express sorrow.
2) Admit it’s your fault.
3) Offer to make up for it.
4) Promise to do better.

Of course we won’t always be perfect in our apologies and we should not demand perfection from people who apologize to us, but there is always room for improvement. I think it’s helpful to think the process of apologizing and forgiving through so that we can get better at healing and improving our relationships with others — from your marriage to your workplace.

INTERVIEW
This week I share an inspiring conversation I had with author/publisher/mom Regina Doman. She shares some beautiful testimony of the way God has worked in her life and also a moving prayer she has composed in the wake of her young son’s tragic death:

Lord,
I do not ask You to keep my children safe
I do not ask You to keep my children healthy
I do not ask You to make them happy, or rich, or successful.
I only ask You to fill them with an incredible, reckless love
for you, Jesus Christ,
because then they will be safe
and they will be healthy
and then they will be happy, rich, and successful
in the only thing that really matters
in this life and the next.
Amen.

Regina’s website
Joshua’s memorial page
Regina’s publishing company
Regina’s books on Amazon
The author Regina mentions in her lightning round: Stephanie Landsem

FEEDBACK
Listener Annemarie calls in with a cute story about her baby at nap time, and the joys of learning to find peace in the midst of chaos. 🙂

As always, I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

SUPPORT
Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Links for this episode

My new book is available!
You’re Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You

Subscribe to Girlfriends in iTunes
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About Danielle Bean
Danielle’s Books on Amazon
Catholic Digest
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